I recently started watching old episodes of Roseanne. I put my iPad up on the kitchen shelf and listened to their raucous household rumble through bad grades and teen smoking and the honeymoon they never had. I was all warm fuzzies about it, ready to slowly make my way through Conner family history until this last week. Last week I gave up on Roseanne. I’ll let you google that if you need to know why.
However, it got me thinking about moms. My baby girl doesn’t have a mom. She has two amazing dads, and I know without a doubt that this set of loving, devoted parents is all she needs to grow up healthy and happy.
She doesn’t have a mom. But Lorde knows you can find plenty of moms on TV. I can’t wait to binge watch TV with my girl and talk about moms. Here’s my short list of moms I hope my Baby Girl meets on our TV journey.
Let me know if there are TV moms you think I should add!
Of course. No list of TV moms can go on without her, so let’s start with Gilmore Girls’ Lorelai. I love this mother daughter relationship. So did most everyone else (re: 7 years on The WB. RIP, WB). I love how their friendship is built on the everyday joys they celebrate, and I love how much their mother-daughter relationship is built on trust, each one believing that the other will take care of them. I also love how often we get to see that things aren’t fair for Lorelai, that Rory often makes them unfair, and yet, Lorelai bears the imbalance with love and commitment to her daughter, never putting Rory in the position to bear the emotional burden equal to the one Lorelai bears as her parent.
“I can’t believe you’re going to a therapist… They always want to ask about your mother. It’s okay. Say whatever you want. But make sure you start with ‘My mother’s very hot.'”
The Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley
We named our aquarium shrimp after her, but mostly because those shrimp cleaned our fishtank and KEPT UP APPEARANCES. Downton Abbey’s Lady Crawley never gave up on her old ways, but she DID stay open and aware of her family. “It is the job of grandmothers to interfere,” she quipped.
She bent but never broke. She made friends but never suffered fools. And in the end, she was guided most by the love of her family, not only those in her present but the family that filled her history and her future.
In a list of fake moms THIS IS A REAL MOM! Cirie is the original “I got off the couch” Survivor player. In her first season, which aired in 2006, she barely made it through the first vote of the season. She went on to become one of the greatest players of all time. She is one of four people who have played on four different seasons. I obviously love watching this couch mom run through the jungle and run circles around other players.
But this is what I hope my daughter sees when we binge watch Cirie’s Survivor seasons – Cirie is never embarrassed. Or I should say, she never lets that be her story. Cirie has a difficult time with physical challenges. A defining moment of her fourth season has her barely making it from floating pontoon to floating pontoon. She fails often on Survivor, falling and fading out. She doesn’t ignore her failure; she simply does the next right thing. She defines her story by living through her challenges, pushing past them, relying on her strengths, and laughing often.
Barb Henrickson, Nicolette Grant, Margene Heffman
“So you don’t have a mom,” I’ll say to my baby girl. “Well, some people have too many.”
This is a three for one deal here, not because they don’t have their own mom-related pluses and minuses, but because there’s simply one big lesson I hope my girl learns from these moms of HBO’s polygamist family drama Big Love – if you ever feel like your two parents are hovering too much… YOU COULD HAVE FOUR PARENTS.
Now if you’ve watched the show, very little plot unfolds with the kids at the center. The show takes care of them despite the murders, the gun violence, the petty arguments over the kitchen island. They do have their push-pull moments of parental authority. In one episode we have this tiff:
Barb: I do not want the kids to go to the compound!
Nicolette: All the kids or just your kids?
Barb: Any kids and certainly not mine. And mine include yours!
Only when their oldest daughter decides to go her own way do we get a big fat look into their four-adult parenting style. And they ALL have their opinions which come to bear on poor, grown Sarah.
See, Baby Girl, born into a different family you could be running a four-adult gauntlet just to get your curfew extended. Count your polygamy-free blessings.
(Also, I do love these moms! #whackadoocrew)
I fall squarely into the audience for all the 90s nostalgia TV remakes. Like a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies, the episodes of the Full House revival Fuller House fell into my lap, and I crawled right in front of my TV and devoured them all at once. Kimmy started the show in 1987 as the best friend of the oldest daughter in a house run by three adult men. In the revival which starts in 2016, Kimmy is one of the three women who run the house along with her now grown best friend DJ and DJ’s sister, Stephanie. In 2016 Kimmy has a daughter of her own. Kimmy is a great mom, a silly mom, her daughter’s biggest fan and secretly her best bud.
This is the perfect show for my daughter and I to binge watch because it’s family-friendly in the sugariest way, and it celebrates the kind of family that’s built by the pieces of it you can gather together.
AND THEN, we’ll get to the scene where we find out that [SPOILER ALERT], not only does Stephanie want to have a baby, but she will go through surrogacy to do it. AND THEN, we’ll find out that KIMMY IS GOING TO BE HER SURROGATE. Now, the surrogacy jokes aren’t always in good taste, and I’ll be ready to set the record straight. But the friendship and generosity that Kimmy and Stephanie have which holds up their journey into surrogacy together, that’s the kind of stuff I want to talk about with my girl.
Baby Girl, some moms suck. Big time.
Okay… who’s missing! What TV moms does my little girl need to know?